Our final day of the trip, before heading home early the following day, began in Omaha and ended back in Des Moines, with a stop in between. I gave the stop away in the initial post of this report.
But we started the day in northern Omaha at Harold's Koffee House, which Buffetbuster recommended and I had read a lot of good things about on-line. I planned to have a final piece of pie at Harold's. They are known for both pie and small donuts, which you see, along with muffins, when you first walk in.
My wife ordered a strawberry-rhubarb muffin, which turned out to have strawberry cream in it.
I was disappointed with the limited pie selection of fresh strawberry, coconut and lemon-meringue, but had decided to probably get the lemon-meringue. However, I made the mistake of ordering a couple pancakes, along with bacon. The pancakes were fine (I might give the edge to the one I had at the Pharmacy in Winterset though), but they were absolutely massive, possibly the biggest standard pancakes I've ever had. I had to push them over so that they were sticking a couple inches off the plate on one side so that there would be a space where syrup could fall off the pancakes on the other.
I made it about three-quarters of the way through them and couldn't take another bite. The pie wasn't going to happen, which was softened a little by the fact that they didn't have any flavors that I was really in the mood for that morning.
We walked a couple blocks down the road and looked at a few businesses and a couple historical markers. It turned out we were in the area where the Mormons had their winter camp while making their way out West.
I think there was a center around there that focuses on the topic, but we had plans to go to the Durham Museum at the long-closed-to-operational-trains Union Station and decided to proceed with them.
I had read that description of the museum before going there, but it had a much heavier focus on the station itself and old railroad cars than I'd expected; not that I had any problem with that. The huge main room of the station was beautiful and had a very attractive operational soda fountain-lunch counter.
They had a small, but interesting selection of sodas that we'd take advantage of before leaving to head east.
There are doors on the far side of the main room that you pass through to enter the rest of the museum.
And they had a nice little display on food on the trains and in the station.
This are two of the several old menus on display:
I forgot to take photos of the old trains, which were down on a lower level. The main focus was the old Union-Pacific Railroad.
There was also a very nice display of wild-life photos by one of the top wild-life photographers along with a film on him and his work, but no photos were allowed of that.
As I mentioned, we stopped for drinks at the soda fountain before leaving the museum, Omaha and Nebraska. My wife had a lime-cherry phosphate. I went for a bottle of Cheerwine. They also had Sioux City Sarsaparilla, which may only be significant to fans of The Big Lebowski
We were heading back to Des Moines for the night before going to the airport in the morning. Our final meal destination, and the final classic steakhouse of the trip, was along the way. Of course, I'm referring to the Redwood Steakhouse in Anita, IA, which has a Main Street of its own a little east of the restaurant. We were a little early and drove around town.
It's not that clear in the above photo, but there is a nice-looking golf course across the road from the restaurant.
If I kept going to the left of this with the phone-camera, I'd eventually get to the bar. But there were people sitting between me and the bar.
And once again, the classic relish tray with salad and cottage cheese in the background.
Another bad photo. Sorry about that. These are the cheeseballs, which we decided to try in spite of all the other pre-entrée food on the table.
We enjoyed them though.
I had decided before the trip that I was going to order a pork chop at at-least one of the restaurants. I thought I might get one at Jesse's Embers, but while we were looking over the menu, my wife expressed her interest in getting one and told me she'd give me a piece of her chop to try. That freed me up to get a steak. I knew I needed to have steak at Archie's and Johnny's isn't in Iowa. That left the Redwood Steakhouse, and I know WJ raved about his smoked Windsor Chop there. So that's what I ordered. I was tired of hash browns by this point and went with fries. They turned out to be of the shoe string variety, which are my favorites.
A little closer:
I wasn't exactly sure what a Windsor chop was when I ordered it. It did turn out to be nice and smoky, as well as fairly salty. Combine that with the soft texture compared to other types of pork chops I've had and it really reminded me of eating a good, thick ham steak. And that's a compliment coming from me. I enjoyed this piece of meat very much and was glad I ordered it. I wound up getting something different for a main course at each of the four steakhouses: ribeye at Jesse's, NY Strip with fried shrimp at Archie's, prime rib at Johnny's and the Windsor Pork Chop at the Redwood. While I had my issues with the atmosphere at Johnny's, I didn't have any regrets in terms of what I ordered at any of the four. Each piece of meat was high quality with just that issue of the one end of the prime rib being a little chewy.
My biggest food regret had to be ordering the pancakes at Harold's, leaving me unable to try pie or a donut. I had considered skipping breakfast and getting a burger and fries and regretted not doing that after the fact. The single best thing I ate on the trip was the banana-meringue pie at the Coffee Cup. Thanks to those who convinced me that was a necessary food stop to make. While Johnny's was my least favorite of the four steakhouses, I really can't pick a favorite among the other three. I enjoyed them all. It was fantastic to get to eat in a couple more pharmacies too. I still get a bit of a thrill when I do that.
It was great to see that part of the country and as I mentioned several times, most of the people we ran into in the various restaurants we visited were extremely friendly, which, as ScreamingChicken knows very well, isn't something we get every day in this part of the country. It's almost always very refreshing for me when I visit the Midwest or center of the country.
post edited by phlmaestro - 2018/09/28 22:26:02